Consumer expectations for a seamless experience between their online and offline interactions with a brand have never been higher. But as their journeys to purchase become ever more complex, providing a consistent brand experience becomes even more challenging for marketers.
Understanding offline touchpoints within the customer journey is increasingly important for accurate measurement and optimization of partner marketing programs. Fortunately, the opportunities to connect offline partner interactions with consumers are improving every day. Here are three areas where marketers can boost the performance of their partnerships by integrating offline touchpoints into their measurement.
Marketers often think the integrated consumer experience encompasses only digital channels and interactions at brick-and-mortar locations. But good old-fashioned phone calls still play a noteworthy role in many customer journeys.
According to BIA/Kelsey, phone calls influence $1 trillion in U.S. spending at some stage of the path to purchase. The company also projects that 169 billion mobile calls will be made annually to businesses by 2020. That’s a lot of consumer interactions, many of which are driven by a brand’s marketing partners rather than the brand itself. Those calls are a vital part of the customer journey that should be captured—and appropriately attributed—within a brand’s broader measurement plan.
These days, technologies are available to measure, attribute and optimize all call conversions that originate from marketing partners. By integrating with a call analytics provider, call conversions driven by partners can be reported in the same way that click conversions can, giving a more complete view of conversions. The ability to measure and attribute calls driven by affiliates and partners allows marketers to understand the overall success of those campaigns.
This better understanding of true partner impact can greatly aid brands in their optimization efforts by identifying the strongest sales drivers. It can also help brands ensure that the customer journey from partner to brand is a seamless one.
Partner Rewards on In-Store Purchases
We all know that loyalty and cashback publishers can play a key role in driving online conversions. But cashback sites and mobile apps also represent strong candidates for partners that can drive sales among value-oriented customers in store. An increasing number of these publishers are providing mobile coupons for in-store redemption, as well as cashback rewards on their in-store purchases.
Cash back for in-store purchases can deliver multiple benefits to shoppers. The ability to deliver and track rewards on mobile removes the hassle of carrying physically mailed offers, and allows automatic collection and redemption opportunities. The simplicity of receiving rewards for an entire in-store purchase should also provide a boost to customer satisfaction and loyalty that brands derive from their partners.
To accurately measure offline conversions, brands need a reliable way to capture mobile and mobile app consumer events. Insights into the types of purchases being driven by these partners, and how those purchases vary between online and in-store environments, can provide valuable guidance into the customer journey and on how to reach the value-driven consumer.
Unique Voucher Codes
Another way to bring online and offline partner measurement together is by offering unique voucher codes for either online or in-store purchases. Unique voucher codes are a great way to distinguish which partners are driving specific transactions, and can be a simple yet powerful way of fully incorporating influencers into your partner marketing programs.
Offering unique voucher codes also increases the likelihood of conversion, especially among consumers who prefer to research online and then buy in-person. In-store voucher codes through partners can also mitigate showrooming behavior. Rather than browsing in-store and buying online, partner voucher codes will encourage the opposite behavior—in an immediate and trackable way.
Marketers need to understand how the online-to-offline dynamic plays out in their marketing ecosystems. The complicated interplay among online and offline touchpoints looks different for every brand. But the importance of understanding this unique interplay cannot be overstated. Being able to track the entirety of a customer’s online and offline journey helps marketers ensure seamless customer communications and, as a result, boost sales.
Miriam Tremelling is Director of Strategy and Operations at Partnerize